Is Halloween Over Yet?

The candy has been distributed, the costumes retired for the season, and the President is still trying to scare the bejeezsus out of us.  Immigrants!!  They’re coming! Actually, and economically speaking, we’re not getting enough immigrants. But who’s going to let a few facts get in the way of a good scare strategy to rouse the basest of the base?

Back to basics:  The GDP depends on buying things, good old fashioned goods and services.  We have GDP growth when more people buy more stuff. Have I made this easy enough for The Great Pumpkin?

So, let’s try one more step. If one wishes to create economic growth something has to increase. Simple enough?  Spending would be good. Now, careful Great Pumpkin, things are about to get more complicated.  Spending increases if people have more money to spend,  and not just the top 1% of all income earners. Spending increases if there are more people to spend more money.  See, that’s not too difficult.

If the birth rate isn’t increasing then the other way to get more people is to take other people’s people. It’s called immigration.  Therefore, it makes no sense to limit immigration merely because they happen to be the “wrong” color.  Focus, O Great Pumpkin, if the object is to generate more Green, then it is counter productive to get distracted by Brown.

Remember, O Great Pumpkin,  your vaunted tax cut for millionaires and billionaires was supposed to be countered by economic growth.  Economic growth requires increased spending, increased spending requires more people — or, requires something you don’t seem anxious to do — raise wages. Only inside the nonsensical bubble of pie-in-the-sky fantasies do we get to increase consumer spending by diminishing the number of consumers doing the spending.

Chew, O Great Pumpkin, on your semi-edible seeds for a moment.  You, O Great Orange One, want increased economic growth, but when you tack on increased tariffs on consumer goods to an anti-immigration policy things can go pear shaped in a hurry.  One pear is developing in the national housing market.

Interest rates are going up. Why? Because the tax cut has increased the deficit.  Higher deficit levels mean higher interest rates, meaning fewer people can afford new housing.  Returning to an old theme in the posts over the past few years, housing is a mid-stream economic area.  Construction takes raw materials, occupancy means more spending for retail items to make the occupancy comfortable.  Housing activity ripples out on all sides.

Seeking economic growth by adopting policies which restrict population increases, while increasing the deficit, when threatening the safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare, when conducting a trade/tariff war with a major supplier, and while ignoring the consequences of muting our efforts to modernize our overall economy (see transitioning from reliance on fossil fuels,) is tantamount to believing pumpkins grow best in Antarctica .

This is something of which we should be legitimately afraid.

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